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Suspicious Test Results From Broadband Provider


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Since 2001 I have used the same broadband provider, and have paid them a handsome fee for service (close to $300 US for business class service). What I have been paying for is 6 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload. I know I could have signed on for faster service, but for the last five years or more I have not been constrained by having a contract.

 

My PC and wireless network both are connected to the internet via a Cisco (cable) router, which is owned by the provider. Because I have been on a business class network, the peak congestion times were always the opposite of residential service: the network would actually speed up in the late afternoon and evening.

 

For years I have used PC Pitstop's free download and upload bandwidth tests, and they have always come back with results close to what I have been paying for. Recently, something has changed, and my service had seemed much slower than usual. Also, the service now slows down in the late afternoon, which seems suspiciously like the speeds of residential service. I ran the download and upload tests on PC Pitstop, and this time it gave me 1200+ Mbps and told me it could no longer run the upload test, due to a firewall or something else intervening (a message that I never got before). I ran the download test a second time, and got 1600+ Mbps, or nearly the same speed.

 

The broadband provider has its own bandwidth test. In between the two download bandwidth tests (above) I ran the provider's tests, and it told me that my download speeds were 5.71 Mbps and 1.88 Mbps respectively. I ran this again after I had finished the PC Pitstop download tests, and I got exactly the same numbers. What's more, in parentheses the actual kilobits and seconds are given. For both tests these numbers were absolutely identical. For example, the company's download bandwidth tests, run several minutes apart, both stated that 730.98 Kbytes/sec had been downloaded and 240.70 Kbytes/sec uploaded. BOTH tests, Same exact speed down to the hundredths of a second on both the download and upload tests. As well, when are download or upload speeds ever notated in kiloBYTES per second; Internet connection speeds in my experience are always given in kiloBITS or megaBITS per second, not kiloBYTES/megaBYTES.

 

Does anyone else besides me find this to be highly suspicious?! I have never EVER had the PC Pitstop tests give the same EXACT numbers twice in a row, due to the fact that the Internet is a dynamic environment, and congestion varies from minute to minute. Also, common sense tells me that when the Internet seems slow, it probably IS slow. (For example, YouTube is now constantly stopping to buffer multiple times during a video, which it never should do with a 5.71 Mbps connection, and never used to do.)

 

Do you agree with me that this is grounds for complaint at the prices I am paying? Would you even say that these company-run statistics are an out-and-out LIE?

 

Thanks for your help.

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:wp: molasses_in_winter :adios:

 

Love your Member ID name :tup::lol:

 

The information and trouble-shooting steps that you've taken so far are very helpful in getting to the bottom of this.

A couple of things that I would recommend to try, are as follows:

 

After running either test (Pitstop and/or the ISP's Speed Test) clear your browser's cache, temporary internet files, cookies, etc. and then run the tests again and see if the results remain the same.

 

Also, the cisco router, is it separate from the cable modem or is it an integrated device? If it is a separate device, if it is possible, connect directly, temporarily, into the cable modem, bypassing the router and see what numbers the tests reveal then.

 

It will give you more ammunition when you contact the ISP, but the bottom line is still the bottom line, you are paying for a specific product and should be receiving the proper speeds.

 

:) Y

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Thanks, Y, for your response. I love your little emoticons. (I'm not getting those, but then I'm using my Samsung Galaxy 10.1 Tablet, so the choices for Android are probably limited. I'll give you a hello from my Russian keyboard instead: Привет! Как дела? = Hi, how's it going?)

 

In answer to your question... Unfortunately, my router and cable modem are one device, not two, and so I don't think I can get on the other side of it. I've never tried it, and don't know what would happen. I could try it though, just to see what happens.

 

I'm thinking that I will probably say something to the provider. Lately they have been trying to sell me a faster service (with CONTRACT, of course), so I wonder if they are trying to make me sign up by slowing down my speeds, the jerks.

 

I'm probably going to call them tomorrow with the evidence. (I'd do it today, but am expecting the air conditioning repairman). In the meantime, I'm going to see if I can find a copy of the original contract, the conditions of which should still be enforceable. I'll also tune up my system a bit, etc.

 

Thanks again for the encouragement!

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Let us know how you fair with the ISP and be sure to run your tests and log your results after clearing your browsers' cache.

 

There have been others that have had problems with ISP's throttling down their speeds towards the end of each month, but if I remember correctly, those instances were from Hughes dot Net and their satellite service.

 

Best of luck!

 

:) Y

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